Hello Team South Kitsap,
By this time, you have no doubt heard about the tragic incident that took place at Oregon's Umpqua Community College today. Like you, I am shocked and saddened that events such as these occur in our schools. No words are adequate to describe such a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the students, family members, staff, and community affected by this incident at Umpqua Community College.
As students and staff learning and working in our schools, and families that support you; I know that each of these incidents have an effect on you as well. It is so difficult to understand when events such as these take place. To that end, I want to assure you that your safety continues to be our top priority. We are continually making improvements and upgrades to ensure our buildings and facilities offer safe learning environments for all of us and our partnerships with local law enforcement are solid.
With regard to the reactions that many of our students may have to the incident today; please refer to the resource I am providing as it has many ideas for how to help children and families cope with this topic. I would also like to remind you of the parent safety tips document prepared last year with input from staff.
I want to recognize the changing of the guard in the leadership of our Facilities and Operations Department. For the last sixteen years, we have been blessed to have the leadership of Mr. Tom O’Brien guiding this important department in our school district. Tom’s strategic and visionary leadership kept a steady hand on the rudder of this critical educational support service function during many difficult years of diminishing resources and increasing needs. Like so many, I have learned so much from Tom and continue to be inspired by his dedication and service to this great school district and community. This week will see the transition of the leadership reins. Please join me in taking a moment when you see Tom to thank him for his service to the students and staff in the district. He has made such a difference in the lives of so many of us…
At this time, I would also ask you to welcome our new Facilities Director, Mr. Thomas “Tom” Adams, who most recently worked as the Director of Facilities & Operations for Portland Public Schools in Oregon. While in this role, he led over 400 staff and oversaw 100 buildings comprising 85 schools, including 250 vehicles and equipment on 750 acres of grounds. Prior to this position he served as the Fleet and Facilities Operations Manager for the City Of Olympia. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Public Works Director for the City of San Leandro in California, which included 49 municipal buildings, 10 fire stations, 23 parks, public sports fields and recreation facilities. Mr. Adams was awarded the 2012 American School & University Magazine Silver Green Cleaning Award and also served in the United States Military during the Vietnam War. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Adams to the South Kitsap family.
We have had another one of our amazing South Kitsap teachers highlighted as part of the Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight. This is such an affirming program and celebrates our outstanding teachers Amy Baldwin from Hidden Creek Elementary . Well done Ms. Baldwin !!
Principal Jerry Holsten of South Kitsap High School announced today that Thomas Livers has been named a Commended Student in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to this scholastically talented senior. About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2016 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who took the SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in 2014. “The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. SKHS senior, Thomas Livers, recognized as commended student. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”
I want to remind you that on October 8, at 7:30 pm we will have a Community Conversation with Dr. Russ Quaglia scheduled at the high school. Dr. Quaglia is an internationally known educator who understands the importance and impact of Student Voice as well as the related achievement gains realized in systems where students and staff have an authentic voice. Recently published in June 2015, The Word on Voice, Dr. Quaglia talks about the necessary elements for a most successful partnership between educators and students. He will also be meeting with our Leadership Team in the morning and we will be kicking off the Innovative Program Task Force meeting with him during our meeting in the Board Room from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. I am looking forward to having him in the district as we work to establish our grade configuration plans with student developmental needs at the center of our work. http://www.corwin.com/pd/impact-learning-achievement-video.html Please let me know if you have any ideas or questions that we might prepare for prior to the visit. (I have recommended that he leave his New England Patriot gear at home ;>)
Tonight, the two Transition Teams met for the first time in the high school library. These teams, led by Mr. Jay Villars and Ms. Anita Chandler, will be meeting throughout this year to establish the models for our new 6-8 middle school structure and the new 9-12 high school structure in our school district. We are so grateful to the many staff members and parents who are working on this critical focus area. I attended the joint meeting and provided the 6-8 Committee Charge and the 9-12 Committee Charge. These working documents will guide the work of staff and parents during the coming months and clarify both the scope and expected outcomes of the work. More to come on this topic in the future…
Finally, one of our junior high teachers recently shared a disgruntled student comment: “Some teachers here are nuts! They make us learn things we know nothing about. They are forcing us to know stuff!” What a great observation -- let the learning continue all the rest of our days …
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
I trust you are enjoying another beautiful fall week. I want to take a moment and communicate about the upcoming grade reconfiguration and how it will affect you. During the current academic year, 2015-16, we will be researching best practice models for middle schools and ninth grade support/transition to high school. Jay Villars email@example.com will be leading one transition team focused on the ninth grade transition to the high school and Anita Chandler firstname.lastname@example.org will be leading the other transition team focused on the sixth grade transition to the middle school concept. Following this year of study, we will then bridge research and practice for the first of three feeder pattern groups in the district. In the original Memo I sent out last spring, I indicated we had yet to determine rather or not Burley Glenwood or Hidden Creek would be in the Cedar Heights feeder pattern to transition in the first phase of students moving to the new instructional middle school model at Cedar Heights while the ninth graders otherwise planned for attendance at Cedar Heights will transition to the high school for the 2016-17 school year.
I want you to know I have given this decision a great deal of thought. I took this topic to the district-wide principal group and also took the topic to Cabinet this week to process it with them as well. Given the fact patterns of current enrollment this fall, and the need to move forward with a decision as schools are making plans for the future, I believe it is in the best interest of the district to move forward with Burley Glenwood staying in the Cedar Heights feeder pattern group. This means that Hidden Creek will remain in the Marcus Whitman feeder group and will be on the docket for either phase two or phase three of the revised reconfiguration plan. There is a belief that we committed to families that we would work hard not to move them twice, particularly in light of the recent boundary revisions. I want to make sure we keep our commitments. I also believe that while change is imperative and an important component in growth, where we can minimize it or buffer it, we should endeavor to do so. The fewer tasks we focus on the more likely we are to be successful in meeting with success.
At this point, we have not made a determination on which feeder group will be in phase two (2017-18) and which feeder group will be in phase three (2018-19). Enrollment patterns and program demographics will inform the future decision. A great deal will likely happen in the interim and more graphically illuminate the best next steps to take in this district wide transformation. I want to make sure that we continue to communicate as often as possible as we move through this transition process. I do not think we can over communicate on this topic. I would appreciate you giving some thought as to how we might best communicate with the different stakeholder groups as we go through this process. If you have any ideas, concerns, thoughts or questions, please let me know. Together, all things are possible.
In many of the schools across the district, (one might argue all the schools across the district due to new curricula, etc.), it is important to remember that to effectively implement new teaching strategies, Why leader support for new teaching strategies is essential requires real and tangible support. The data cited in this brief article continue to be provocative in reflective conversations.
I want to update you on our class sizes across the district. Ms. Misty Dieffenbach and Mr. Brian Pickard have both been actively working with teachers to remedy class size challenges as our year has started. While our year has gotten off to a much smoother start than the last couple of years, when we are in an enrollment growth pattern (new and exciting ;>) there are at times unanticipated challenges. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of teachers, support staff and the HR Department as we work to meet our elementary class size ratios and secondary class size targets. Our current class sizes at times and in places include language noted as unfilled positions. This means the position has been allocated; but, not yet hired. In other words, posted but not selected yet. We still have work to do on enrollment projections and may need to employ new student assignment policies.
We have another one of our amazing teachers featured in the Kitsap Sun Teacher spotlight. Debbie Koeneman is a third grade teacher at South Colby. We are so blessed to have her expertise. http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/teacher-spotlight-debbie-koeneman-south-colby-elementary
As part of the planned upgrade to the athletic field and track complex at the high school, we will have improved lighting that is significantly more energy efficient (only utilizing 40% of the power that our prior lighting system utilized). We will appreciate significant energy savings and experience an improved lighting pattern that is more focused on the actual field with less spillover light affecting the neighborhood. The LED lights also do not require the constant replacement that our current lighting system requires. The former six wood pole system has been replaced with five steel poles which will improve safety as the wood poles are subject to rot (a couple of years ago we had one of these wood poles snap in a storm). Here’s a fast-motion look at the removal of an original wood pole and replacement with the upper portion steel pole and LED lights. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKz9LSDwcGc
A variety of professional development opportunities are now available for Monday October 12th. Staff may register online. Follow the directions on this link . This is a great way to use the additional 7.5 paid professional development hours offered to all certificated staff this year. The Department of Student Success will keep you apprised of other offerings . If you have any questions, please contact Jay Villars, email@example.com .
The new copiers have started arriving! In total, South Kitsap School District will be saving $20,000 per year in lease costs and at least $12,000 in maintenance and per copy costs, adding up to over $100,000 in savings over the course of the five year lease. We are excited that these savings will have a direct impact upon school budgets. Also, the Office of Student Success has agreed to allocate $5.00 per FTE to the eleemnatary school building budgets to compensate for the increased copying costs due to the new curriculum expectations. Information Technology and Business Services are teaming with Sharp Business Systems to insure the least disruption as possible during the installation. We will be providing you with information on the pick-up of the Ricoh copiers soon. If you encounter any problems with the transition, please contact Stephanie Zarifes at ext. 7081. Many thanks to all on this copy committee as this work will provide high support for our high instructional expectations.
And so, another interesting quote shared with me this past week, “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” —Jack Layton (1950-2011), Canadian Politician.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
What a great week of learning and activities in this mercurial weather. There continue to be so many positive activities all week.
For the second time in sixteen years, we are seeing an increase in enrollment rather than a decrease. This is in large part due to an increase in primary (K-2) student numbers. This is positive indeed as the foundation of the district is getting stronger. This enrollment growth trend is one that signals continued promise for our district and community. It also means that many of our schools, particularly at the elementary level, are feeling a bit pinched. Even with the boundary adjustments that have been enacted for this school year, we still have tight quarters at several of our schools. As we move forward this year, we will continue to monitor these enrollment trends and will endeavor to be nimbly responsive to our enrollment patterns and trends. As you have occasion to make observations on this topic, please share any insights you might have on the emerging enrollment patterns.
I want to remind you that on October 8, at 7:00 pm we will have a Community Conversation with Dr. Russ Quaglia scheduled at the high school. Dr. Quaglia is an internationally known educator who understands the importance and impact of Student Voice as well as the related achievement gains realized in systems where students and staff have an authentic voice. Recently published in June 2015, The Word on Voice, Dr. Quaglia talks about the necessary elements for a most successful partnership between educators and students. He will also be meeting with our Leadership Team in the morning and we will be kicking off the Innovative Program Task Force meeting with him during our meeting in the Board Room from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. I am looking forward to having him in the district as we work to establish our grade configuration plans with student developmental needs at the center of our work. Please let me know if you have any ideas or questions that we might prepare for prior to the visit.
Congratulations go out to Mr. Mike Downum, South Kitsap High School Video Production teacher, for being named Certificated Star Staff Award for this quarter. Mike was nominated by his colleague, Ms. Nancy Fairweather. "An indicator of Mike’s successes is the students who have moved on to university programs in the communications field and are now working in our communities," stated Nancy. Congratulations also go out to Ms. Barb Evans, Office Coordinator at Burley Glenwood, for being named Classified Star Staff Award of the quarter. Barb was nominated by Principal Darek Grant. "Barb is the ultimate teammate. She continually seeks ways of making our school more effective at meeting the needs of all students," wrote Darek. Both winners were honored today at the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Also, we had another fantastic teacher spotlighted in the Kitsap Sun, Maura Crisp, Hidden Creek Elementary . Our Hidden Creek Hawks appreciate all of Ms. Crisp’s efforts and dedication. Well done !!
On Wednesday night, Shannon Thompson, our Executive Director for Categorical Programs, Innovation & Assessment, presented state assessment data to the School Board. Our students, all of them – no exceptions, continue to outperform the State in almost every category measured. Plans are being made for Professional Development offerings that will be available for Columbus Day on October 12th. Some of the topics currently being considered are AVID, Next Generation Science Standards, Google Docs, STARS, CTE and Highly Capable. Teachers have an opportunity to receive 7.5 additional hours of professional development in this contract year. Columbus Day may be a great way to obtain this professional development. Updates regarding this PD will be available soon. If you have suggestions or ideas, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . We are also continuing to provide ongoing professional development for our new administrators. Anita Chandler, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, met with new administrators this week regarding the CEL 5D+ Framework.
I had a great time attending our South Kitsap 5K Alumni and Community race for the 2nd year in a row! It is so inspiring to see this incredible program continue to flourish under the able leadership of Head Coach, Erin Fraser. It was also gratifying to be at the event with so many other South Kitsap staff and simply be present and enjoy these amazing athletes. Our future is indeed bright !!
Our intrepid Career and Technical Education Director, Ms. Sara Hatfield, brought representatives from Boeing to the district this week. This partnership is one that provides amazing opportunities for our students. Mr. Daniel Parker met with our high school students and then made a presentation to the Board about all the aspects of the manufacturing, engineering and aviation career possibilities available in our State alone. I am amazed by several of the data points concerning the upcoming pilot shortages (the need for 500,000 worldwide in the next twenty years) and the vast number of manufacturing and engineering jobs needed in our State alone. I find it hard at times to even conceive of that many planes in the air at any one time… We are so blessed to have the Career and Technical Education teachers and programs that we have in this district. Our students have so many opportunities.
Sidney Glen Elementary celebrates 25 years with new playground and mural project. It was a little over two years ago that Sidney Glen was told that their upper play structure would soon be beyond repair. It was at that time that an amazing energy came over the school, both in the community and amongst the students and staff. Sidney Glen decided to follow the school’s theme of having GRIT, which we all know means to hold to our goals unswervingly! The Sidney Glen PTA spearheaded the project by partnering with students and families to raise money to purchase a first-class play structure for the playground. At the same time, during these last two years, the school has been working on a beautiful clay mosaic where every student has a piece in this work of art. Mrs. Donna Vacquer, a local artist and active volunteer, worked with students and staff on the art work. This is another great example of the power of partnerships. Together, all things are possible.
Finally, our SKHS Boys’ Water Polo Team got their first ever win last night, beating Peninsula 17-13. The Junior Varsity also came away with a victory, beating Peninsula 5-1. This is so exciting as we are only in the second year of this grueling sport. Coach Zack Fogel continues to inspire these water gladiators. We continue to have great expectations. I am looking forward to cheering them on at a home match soon.
I trust all of you will have a chance to get out and enjoy a great week-end and want to leave you with a quote someone recently shared with me; “Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!” —Christian D. Larson
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
What a great start to the school year. There are so many amazing things going on in classrooms all across this great district. So many children so engaged so quickly. I had the opportunity to attend a number of Open House celebrations and first day festivities. These events are so inspiring. It is also so heartwarming to hear the many many positive community and family comments about the quality of the opening events and the genuine warmth and caring they feel when they engage with our staff. I am so proud of each of your efforts in nurturing such a supportive learning culture.
As our first enrollment counts begin rolling in, it is with great pride that I report we are continuing to grow as a district. All these numbers are of course a bit rough at this point so I will hold myself in check with any chart presentations at this juncture. More to come next week.
As we highlight another rigorous and innovative academic program in this great district, our Video Production course has been recording sports, music and theater events for 18 years. Back in the day, we started using VHS tape and showing it on the local Public Access Channel. Thanks to a partnership between CTE and the district, we recently purchased two High Definition studio cameras and, by utilizing donated telephoto lenses, last Friday night we streamed our first High Definition event “live” on YouTube. Matthew Swager performed his usual technical wizardry to make it all work – Pro Video students were outstanding as the production crew. At last check, the program had more than 800 views and YouTube analytics indicate people watched significant portions of the program from Costa Rica, Finland, the Czech Republic and the Philippines.
Last week was the culminating event for the new athletic field complex https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjm6RYFus3A Profiled on the video are interviews with Mr. Tom O’Brien, the SK Director of Facilities and Operations, School Board member Rebecca Diehl, and the man behind the camera, Mr. Mike Downum, SKHS faculty member. It is a nice retrospective on the ribbon cutting dedication and the saga of the field development and what it represents. Our student athletes and musicians are going to have a great venue to showcase their talents in the coming years.
We recently had another one of our fantastic teachers in the Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight Diana Gnegy at Hidden Creek Elementary . Our Hawks at Hidden Creek are blessed to have Ms. Gnegy to inspire them !! Well done !!
In collaborative committee work that will affect all of us, the recommendation from the copier refresh team members will be presented to the School Board on Wednesday the 16th. Representatives from Information Technology and Business Services will be working directly with the schools and departments starting the 17th to coordinate the exchange of old copiers for the new machines. They will be working hard to ensure as little disruption during this process as possible. What an exciting time to be able to more efficiently support our copier needs. Thank you to the committee !!
Ryan Hopkins, son of Mr. Scott and Tracy Hopkins who is on the intrepid Cross Country team at South Kitsap High School recently invited me to attend and participate in either the 5K or one mile race for South Kitsap alumni and community members at Kitsap Regional Park this afternoon. This was such a fun event last year !! I am looking forward to improving my time this year ( won’t be hard I suspect ;>) in the one mile race. At so many levels, I have visions of the Tortoise and the Hare…I will clearly not be the hare. So off to the races…
The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce is honoring one certificated and one classified staff member each quarter. The first Star Staff awards of the year will be presented next week at the chamber luncheon. To nominate a stand out staff member, send your completed Star Staff nomination form to Amy Miller at email@example.com by September 14 at 10a.m. Nominations that were submitted last year have been kept on file.
Amy Miller has been working hard on the new logo and brand standards guide which is now available on the district website under staff resources/nuts and bolts. This is an effort to bring some standardization to our written materials in the district and help us better communicate with one another.
I look forward to seeing you at the many school and community events scheduled for the coming weeks and months. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with me as we continue to improve our program of studies for the children of this great district. Together all things are possible.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
Wow, what another amazing week here in this great district and community. It is a time of such great expectations. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela. What a gift it is to be an active participant in this amazing endeavor.
We welcomed approximately 600 teachers to the 2015-2016 school year at LID day, including 67 new teachers to the district. The Department of Student Success did another amazing job pulling together a wide variety of professional development opportunities for teachers throughout the day. Our Transportation Department and Food and Nutrition Department also held professional development this week and welcomed back staff. The themes in all the professional development provided this past week was supporting the best possible educational experience for all our children. In my presentation to teachers this week, I continue to find it so inspiring to serve as… “No generation of American Educators has ever accomplished what our teachers and administrators are achieving today.” We are proud of the dedication and efforts of our South Kitsap teachers and support staff.
Final touches are finishing up on the turf field. We hope to see everyone at the dedication event on Friday, September 4 beginning at 6:45 pm. Our donors, School Board members, elected officials, as well as construction project staff will be there for this special recognition celebration. We hope all of you can make it as we celebrate this special partnership project. (and enjoy our marching band, cheerleaders and football team as well ;>)
As another week has passed, we are checking in on the athletic field complex progress https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oOIE1Rmcp8 . The work this week focused primarily on the final details of installation of the turf and Kitsap Bank signage, and features interviews with the South Kitsap Director of Facilities and Operations, Mr. Tom O’Brien and School Board President, Mr. Chris Lemke. Our student athletes and musicians are going to have a great venue to showcase their talents in the coming years. We continue to be inundated with field use requests from community groups as well as field visit requests due to the innovative nature of our project. Our committee on stadium management is reviewing procedures for the future.
While not quite as headline making as our new stadium, the transportation department just had a new four post hoist installed today. This will enable the mechanics to be more efficient so that our children continue to be delivered to and from school safely and is a great addition to the maintenance shop capability. It takes support, precision, and excellence in all aspects of our operations to make this great district ‘run smoothly’.
October is disability employment awareness month, so we’ll be doing some cool things to celebrate SKSD’s commitment to diverse hiring! Trillium Employment Services is a nonprofit that assists businesses to recruit, train, and retain employees with developmental and intellectual disabilities. They offer on-the-job training and ongoing support for the lifetime of someone’s job to ensure that they continue to be successful as they grown in their career. Trillium has supported EPO in hiring two South Kitsap graduates after talking with staff members and uncovering areas where more support was needed. Madelyn works in the cafeteria during lunch helping run the food-to-flowers line, cleaning tables and floors between grades, opening packages and answering questions for younger students, and helping keep order. Adam works in the library checking in books, helping younger students find books, shelving books, pulling damaged books, and preparing new books. EPO’s staff and students have warmly welcomed Adam and Madelyn into their team! We’re looking forward to our continued partnership. It matters!!
One of our more important initiatives this year will be to support increased attendance at our schools. In an interesting report, 1 in 10 kindergartners miss 18-plus days per year, report finds , chronic absenteeism is an early indicator of a hindrance to future academic success, according to a report from Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign. Recent data show 1 in 10 kindergartners miss nearly a month of school per year across the country. I know our district leadership team and principals are working hard and focused on improving attendance this year. It is so important to develop and maintain good school attendance habits for academic and workplace preparation.
Our district support staff recently completed the final portion of the New Member Risk Assessment Survey and scored 100%. While that is truly a noteworthy achievement, the Washington Schools Risk Management Pool, our insurance company, stressed that our staff went above and beyond expectations to implement best practice recommendations. The insurance pool staff were repeatedly impressed with our staff dedication and professionalism. We will be receiving a plaque for recognition of this achievement. And of course the 5.75% rate reduction (savings of $44,696.00) will be reflected on our annual statement. This savings can then be redirected to the direct support of student learning. Well done.
As the year begins, one of my obligations is to annually share with the staff the provisions of Executive Limitation (EL) 4 as it relates to the work of the district, the School Board expectations for my performance, and our work together. Essentially, this EL addresses “ that with respect to interactions with paid and volunteer staff, the Superintendent shall not cause or allow conditions, procedures, actions, or decisions which are unlawful, unethical, unsafe, disrespectful, unnecessarily disruptive, or in violation of Board policy.” I know you will review EL 4 at your schools and departments in the coming weeks and want to highlight its importance in our work together.
I have been asked to again share my recommendation for the grade reconfiguration phase-in plan. Please continue to feel free to share ideas, questions and insights that might assist us as we move forward with this epic transformation. This is a journey we travel together.
Like each of you, I am looking forward to our new school year and all the adventures we have yet to experience. Our journey together continues…
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
The days of summer are certainly passing swiftly. I know being outside as dawn breaks in the morning, the air is beginning to smell like fall. I love all these transitions and the promise of exciting events soon to be upon us. There is so much energy in preparation…so many opportunities…
Come out and support the South Kitsap Future Farmers of America (FFA) program at the Kitsap County Fair this week August 26th – 30th. Students will be showing livestock animals which include hogs, horses, and rabbits starting at 10 am daily. All students have created educational displays to be viewed by the public visiting fair. All students will be participating in the Career Development Event, livestock judging. Market animals will be for sale at the livestock auction Saturday, August 29th starting at 10am. Great leadership on the part of FFA Advisors Ms. Kaitlyn Atkinson, Mr. Mike Sheppard, and Ms. Kirsti Whitmire. Well done!!
The SKHS Marching Band finished up with band camp and travelled to the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede to perform on Wednesday. They were the only local band to make the trip. It is exciting to see our young people perform so admirably and represent our community so well. Great job!!
Fall Sports began last Wednesday, Aug 19th with the first official practice for Fall Football, many of the athletes who participated in Spring Ball returned following a summer of hard work conditioning and lifting. We have a strong squad of 171 players from which we will field a Varsity, JV and two C teams, comprised mostly by the 62 +/- freshmen we have turned out. All other sports began practice or try-outs this Monday those are; Cross Country (40), Volleyball (54), Boys’ Water Polo (23), Boys Tennis (22), Cheer (38), Girls Soccer (68) and Girls Swim & Dive (32). With a total of 448 student athletes turning out for fall sports, once try-outs are complete and final rosters posted we will be sure to have competitive and enthusiastic teams to support over the coming months, including V, JV and two C Volleyball teams, V, JV, and C Girls’ Soccer teams and Boys’ Water Polo at both the V and JV level. All schedules are posted on the Athletics website at http://skhsathletics.skitsap.tandemcal.com Mark your calendars and GO WOLVES!
As another week has passed, we are checking in on the athletic field complex progress https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpvrrX4Lejc The work this week focused primarily on the continued installation of the turf (our SK) and features interviews with the South Kitsap High School Track Coach, Mr. Paul Zimmer, and South Kitsap High School Lacrosse Coach, Mr. Julius Ifurung. Our student athletes and musicians are going to have a great venue to showcase their talents in the coming years. We continue to be inundated with field use requests from community groups as well as field visit requests due to the innovative nature of our project. Our committee on stadium management is reviewing procedures for the future.
Many schools are having fantastic Welcome Activities for students and families. One such event, the Seventh Grade Orientation at John Sedgwick Junior High, drew large crowds of both students and families this week. These are such energizing events as young people are looking forward to the start of school with great expectations. We are so blessed to have staff work so hard to prepare and lead these important events.
Office coordinators, department directors and building principals gathered at Hidden Creek today for the annual Nuts & Bolts meeting. New staff members were introduced and updates were given by each department. A great deal of new information was shared and discussed.
On another matter that will affect all of us in the district, an intrepid group of copier refresh team members have recently been meeting to ascertain the best possible direction to go with the copier refresh topic at hand. Our current copy lease contracts are up and the committee therefore needed to chart our next steps. The presentation of their work will now be reviewed by Cabinet and we will make a decision on the plan for the next several years. Please let me know if you have any thoughts or questions as Cabinet will be meeting this coming Monday morning. Please also take a few minutes to thank those members of the team for all their dedicated work on this important topic. A decision will be made next week.
As we close out this week, I recently was reminded of the poetry of Victor Hugo (1802-1885); “Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.” I am so excited; this is going to be an amazing year!
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
Well, what a great week of professional development!! Hundreds of staff have been attending multiple professional development sessions throughout the week. Many intrepid South Kitsap staff have also stepped up to teach classes during this week. This is such an empowering professional development model as it is responsive to local classroom instructional needs in real time. As the South Kitsap Professional Development Committee continues its work in the coming years, feedback from all of you will be helpful in developing topics, courses and delivery models that best suit classroom instructional needs. Well done !!
We had another fantastic Back to School Celebration this past week-end. This is such a special activity and highlights the generous spirit in this great district and community. Again, the attendance ranged over 5,000 attendees. A big thank you to all the staff who attended and supported this event covering all details large and small. A special thank you to Ms. Annette Stewart, who continues to successfully shepherd this event. It matters to so many. Well done !! Many folks commented on the spaciousness of the new venue for this event as it was held at Marcus Whitman Junior High this year. If you have any feedback on this location and in general how we can continue to improve this event, please feel free to pass this along to me or to Ms. Stewart directly, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
As another week has passed, we are checking in on the athletic field complex progress https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmXEC6b5po4&feature=youtu.be The work this week focused primarily on the continued installation of the turf and features interviews with the South Kitsap High School Band Director, Mr. Gary Grams, and South Kitsap High School Girls’ Soccer Coach, Ms. Christina Boddie. Our student athletes and musicians are going to have a great venue to showcase their talents in the coming years. We continue to be inundated with field use requests from community groups as well as field visit requests due to the innovative nature of our project. We do have a committee set to review the field use plans and fees as well as scheduling plans for the complex.
On the topic of ‘the missing having been replaced’ category, we have just recently remedied the signage over the entrance to the high school track and field complex. The missing "S" on our football concession stand has now been taken care of thanks to Mr. Ken Warner at Facilities & Operations and Mr. Mike Sheppard at the high school. It is great to be free of the athletic complex grammar police ;>) [previously South Kitsap Wolve ; now the South Kitsap Wolves] … Well done!
It has been so exciting to follow the efforts of a large number of our secondary school staff as they have attended (Advancement Via Individual Determination) AVID training this summer. This program, when implemented, will provide the necessary high support for our high expectation. This is such a promising and well researched program and one that staff at these schools have looked at for several years. AVID is not just another program. At its heart, AVID is a philosophy that holds students accountable to the highest standards, and provides academic and social support. This is especially important as we work on grade level reconfiguration this year. This is so empowering!!
A big congratulations to Gauge Phillips, a student at Manchester Elementary School, who recently won a national championship in Artistic Roller-Skating. Well done !! http://www.kitsapsun.com/sports/former-world-champion-figure-roller-skater-finds-new-home-in-bremerton_71347750
Results from the spring 2015 administration of state tests were released by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in OLYMPIA on August 17, 2015 — during a press conference held by Randy Dorn. “Students in grades 3-8 and high school have been taking state tests, as required by state and federal law, since 2006. They help identify learning gaps and are used to determine school and district Adequate Yearly Progress. Washington’s high school students are also required to pass certain tests, or state-approved alternatives, to be eligible for graduation.” State and district scores can be found on the State Report Card.
Overall, I am so proud of the outstanding work of our students and staff on these required assessments. We are blessed to have such amazing educators and support staff in this great district that are focused on student success for all students – no exceptions. Of course, I cannot pass up the opportunity to note that we do not need mandated federal level assessments to know we are doing amazing things here in the South Kitsap School District. As we continue our work to nurture and inspire the next generation of innovators, we are resolute in our commitment to both the art and science of instruction, and will not be limited in our thinking or our approach to excellence in all aspects of education here in South Kitsap.
This is the first year students across the State took the Smarter Balanced tests. “They are the most advanced that students have ever taken,” said Dorn. “They measure students’ progress on the learning standards, so teachers know where students are succeeding and where they need extra help.” Dorn said he was pleased with the first-year results. “Statewide results beat our predictions,” he said. “That says to me that students are capable of learning our new standards, which are designed to make sure students are ready for career and college. “It also says that the overall delivery system of the tests worked. Teachers and staff did a great job understanding and applying the new testing technology. I commend all of them for their work.” Dorn added that some changes are needed. “I believe in the testing system,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s perfect, especially with how it’s used for high school graduation. The Smarter Balanced tests were designed to be an evaluation tool, not a graduation requirement. We still need legislation to focus the use of the 11th-grade tests on proper class placement in 12th grade, rather than as a graduation hurdle.” More to come for sure…
A staff member sent an interesting article regarding an innovative middle school model. While I am sure not all of the aspects of this school are practical, it is interesting to think out of the box at times. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ron-clark-academy-atlanta-sets-success-confidence-future/ . Enjoy the upcoming week-end.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
What another fantastic summer week here in our community. Like many of you, I have friends around the country, many of whom are lamenting the weather conditions in their neck of the woods. We are so blessed in so many ways here in South Kitsap.
I want to remind folks that we have our annual Back to School Celebration this coming Saturday on August 15 at Marcus Whitman Junior High. This change in venue is necessary to accommodate the new athletic field turf and track project at the high school site. This is an important community activity for our students and families. I look forward to seeing many of you at this event that supports our children in getting the best possible school start of the year. Thank you to all of you working so hard to make this important event successful. It matters.
Today, the Washington state Supreme Court ordered that the state pay $100,000 a day until it produces a plan that will fully fund basic education by 2018. This is a momentous decision and arguably not undertaken lightly. Here are my remarks to the local press, “I applaud the Supreme Court continuing to advocate for fully funding education. I also want to note that for the educators in this great State, this is so much more than a ‘political football’; it is personal. I look forward to the continued legislative progress to fully fund our schools. It matters so much to so many.” I know we will all be watching the continued progress on this critically important topic to all of us; most importantly the children of Washington, our future.
This week, the South Kitsap Leadership Team has been involved in the Summer Administrative Institute, a week long professional development activity. Principals have spent significant time discussing topics related to instructional leadership. This is an important time to work on our skills as we are resolutely committed to supporting the teaching and learning work in the classrooms across this great district.
I want to share the final Summer Institute flyer and note that our Department of Student Success state that we currently have over 800 registrations for the 34 professional development opportunities throughout the week. I continue to be so inspired by the dedicated efforts of our staff to support the children and families of this great community. Clearly, there will be a significant amount of learning going on in the coming weeks… I am so excited !!
A recent article in the Kitsap Sun sports section highlighted one of our very own coaches, Mr. Marcus Logue. It is a great article covering the positive achievements of our Head Baseball coach and AP Social Studies teacher at SK High School http://www.kitsapsun.com/sports/terry-mosher-logue-has-shown-he-has-that-it-factor_58229119. We are so blessed to have the amazing coaches and teachers that we have who tirelessly work to support our young people in this amazing district.
As another week has passed, we are checking in on the athletic field complex progress.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjXWb5WnzY8 The work this week focused primarily on the installation of the turf and the final painting and striping of the track. Our student athletes and musicians are going to have a great venue to showcase their talents in the coming years. We are already being inundated with field use requests from community groups as well as field visit requests due to the innovative nature of our project. We do have a committee set to review the field use plans and fees as well as scheduling plans for the complex.
I am doing a reminder that several weeks ago, I presented my recommendation for the grade reconfiguration phase-in plan. This will continue to be a major part of our transition work for the coming year. Please feel free to share ideas, questions and insights that might assist us as we move forward with this epic transformation.
As we approach the first pre-season game for the Seahawks this season, I thought it appropriate to share an article that connects our topic of grit and the head coach for the Seahawks. It is very provocative and I trust will spur conversation in a variety of quarters. Being reflective in a growth mindset can be so positive and inspiring.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
What another fantastic week here in South Kitsap. It continues to be a very toasty summer and providentially a great summer for the construction and renovation projects we have undertaken. I trust each of you are also finding your fun and renewing your energy during this vital season.
I am looking forward to South Kitsap’s Summer Institute which is scheduled for the week of August 17-21. This is a wonderful learning opportunity and I hope that many of you will take advantage of the wide variety of classes being offered this year. Five days of sessions are being offered across many content areas. For our new staff members, the introductory sessions provide a good overview of our adopted curricula. In addition to the strategies and tools you will walk away with, participants will receive pay and professional development clock hours for their participation. This event has been developed and is being implemented as a result of the recent District Professional Development Committee work, and is responsive to staff voice asking for focused professional development especially in light of the new curricula being implemented across the district in the coming year. Please check out the entire summer Institute schedule and click here to view the flyer and register for the sessions you would like to attend. We look forward to seeing many of you during the week of August 17-21. If you have questions, please feel free to call the Student Success Department at 360-874-7058 or email Kelly Wilcox at email@example.com. Thank you to all the committee members and the District Student Success Department.
In our continuing focus on providing high support for the classroom, I want to share another exciting project this summer. We are installing interactive projectors in all K-5 classrooms and all K-5 Special Ed resource rooms (190 in all!) as well as selected K-5 Life Skills classrooms across our district. Beyond just replacing existing projectors, these SmartBoard-like projectors allow students and teachers to interact with digital content (such as the recently adopted K-5 Journeys ELA curriculum, both with publisher-provided resources and other tools from the internet). Teams from our Information Technology Services and Facilities Departments have a tight schedule in working with contractors to have the projectors installed by the start of school. During the Summer Institute, an overview of Interactive Whiteboards will be offered, but more training opportunities will be provided once we are back to school. As we continue to maintain high expectations for all children – no exceptions; this high support is essential.
I want to remind everyone that our annual Back to School Celebration is August 15 at Marcus Whitman Junior High. This change in venue is necessary to accommodate the new athletic field turf and track project at the high school site. This is an important community activity for our students and families. I look forward to seeing many of you at this event that supports our children in getting the best possible school start of the year. Thank you to all of you working so hard to make this important event successful.
Another important upcoming community event is the Stuff the Bus with School Supplies to benefit the Back to School Celebration scheduled for Saturday, August 1 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at our local Port Orchard Walmart store. Please plan to be part of this important support event for our school children.
This week saw a meeting with our district librarians and a discussion on support for print material upgrades for each school library in the district. It has been many years since the library collections at our schools have been upgraded other than with PTA and book fair monies. The grants previously available for school districts that support library collections are no longer available so it has been more than fifteen years since these collections have seen significant upgrades. As part of the one-time only expenditure list for this summer, we will be allocating $165,000.00 to upgrading library collections. Each elementary school will receive $10,000.00, each junior high school will receive $15,000.00 and the high school will receive $20,000.00 to support the print collections on site. This continues to be high support for our resolutely held high expectations for students across this great district; all of them – no exceptions. As you have suggestions for these orders, please contact your hardworking school librarian.
Another of our recent projects this summer is the examination of our district logo. As we have reviewed and refined our strategic plan over the course of the prior school year, and have now settled on our 2020 goals and plans, we are also looking at how well we align as a district and how best this is captured. Mr. Adam Smith, a member of our community, parent of district children, and a third generation South Kitsap family, has put together several ideas in his presentation for us to consider. I am sharing the two logo ideas that have surfaced over the course of numerous conversations and know that some iteration of these will likely be our future district logo. Following your review of Adam’s presentation, please provide me with any feedback you feel might be helpful. I believe Adam has captured the ethos and importance of visual identity. I continue to be so impressed with the many and varied talents of our community members and staff and appreciate how deeply our South Kitsap community cares about the success of our schools. It is inspiring.
As another week has passed, we are checking in on the athletic field complex progress. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_3-baf1QCM The work this week focused primarily on the installation completion of the e-layer, and features the track surface project. This e-layer is such a great safety consideration as it is 19mm thick and has the impact of improving the G-MAX score of the field to assist in preventing concussions and other serious sports related injuries. The track will be striped beginning on Monday and the turf will begin Monday as well. This maintains our commitment to safety and the success of our student athletes and musicians, all of them – no exceptions.
The power of perspective continues to be one that I find interesting. My husband and I recently traveled with our two youngest children to Canon Beach, OR, to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary. As we were preparing to return home, and my husband was ‘packing the car’, it happened that I found myself standing next to an older woman and we began to share travel stories and the numerous ‘car packing’ stories and events that over the years led to us often not being an active participant for that final trip preparation stage ;>) While these summer travel moments can at times be harried, she reminded me to enjoy ‘the moment’ as her husband of forty four years had recently passed away and she would trade all ‘the moments’ just to have him back… It is such an important reminder about what is really important in life.
This quote was recently brought to my attention and I think it a timely reminder as we savor these reflective summer days. “Do the things you used to talk about doing but never did. Know when to let go and when to hold on tight. Stop rushing. Don't be intimidated to say it like it is. Stop apologizing all the time. Learn to say no, so your yes has some oomph. Spend time with the friends who lift you up, and cut loose the ones who bring you down. Stop giving your power away. Be more concerned with being interested than being interesting. Be old enough to appreciate your freedom, and young enough to enjoy it. Finally, know who you are.” —Kristin Armstrong
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.